When it comes to the sharing of information and communication among businesses and companies, a business letter is a classic approach for getting your message across. They’re formal have a specific structure and are different from the company’s internal communication like memos. Today, we’ll discuss the format of the business letters and how to write a business letter.
Companies use business letters for various reasons like sending cover letters, announcements, official requests, and others. Following the formal approach doesn’t mean that they can’t have an amiable tone. Most importantly, their writing should be easy to read, clear, and concise.
Format & Fonts of the Business Letter
Before jumping into the discussion of how to write a business letter, first, we should discuss the style and format of the business letter. When it comes to the format of the business letter in terms of fonts, style, or line spacing; the goal is to make the written content readable, clear, and clean. Some of the things that you should keep in mind while formatting your letter are as follows;
Font Size & Styling
When you’re going to choose the font size and style of your business letter, then your focus should be on readability and cleanliness. Many stylish fonts would attract your attention and use in your letter, but it would make it difficult for your target audience to read them.
The goal of the business letter is to deliver the information in a way that the receiver would receive and understand it as soon as possible. Some of the famous fonts style used in professional business documents are as follows;
- Times New Roman
- Open Sans
- Gill Sans
You should choose such a font size that would make your written content easily readable. To be more precise, it should be within the range of 10 to 12 points. However, if the font size is larger than 12 points, then it would seem unprofessional. If it’s less than 10 points, then it would be difficult for some people to read it.
Adding Necessary Information
While structuring the layout of the business letter, you should make sure that it must contain all the mandatory information that a professional business document usually has. However, a business letter usually comprises of the following information;
- Your contact details like name, professional title, company’s name, email, phone number, and address
- Date when you’re sending the letter
- The content detail of the recipient like name, professional, company’s name, and address
The abovementioned information comes at the top of the business letter and just before the opening salutation. The point is that you should keep in mind adding the abovementioned information in your business letter.
The spacing margin is also important in making your business letter look professional and readable. You should put proper and suitable spaces at the beginning of the letter like name, title, date, and contact details.
In the body section of the business letter after opening salutation, every paragraph should have single spacing, and follow the same single spacing before and after the spacing. However, it’s better if you align the whole letter in the same style. It would make it easier for the reader to read and focus on it.
A professional business document usually has a lined margin of one inch. Therefore, it’s better if you follow the same margin or a bit larger.
Proper Opening & Closing
When you start the letter, then you should properly address the recipient. If you don’t know the receiving person, then you say it like this “To Whom It May Concern: Dear Director of Marketing.”
If you’re professionally familiar with the receiving person but you haven’t met him in person. In such a case, you should greet him/her like Dear Mr. /Ms (last name). If you’re well-acquainted with the receiving person, then you can address him/her with your first name.
The closing salutation should be simple and brief like respectfully, all the best, or sincerely, and then type your name and title.
How to Write a Business Letter
It’s to discuss how to write a business letter. The main sections in the professional formal business letter are as follows;
Contact Detail (Sender)
As the name implies, you start the letter with contact details, and it should be on the left side of the business letter page. You should write it like this;
It’s better if you don’t add your name first before the address. However, most of the companies and businesses only write addresses and phone numbers, because they add the name only at last after the closing salutation.
After writing the contact information, you should give one line space, and then write the date. It’s better if you follow the US date format like this (Month Date, Year);
January 10, 2021
Recipient Contact Detail
After the date, you should give one line space, and then write the name and address of the recipient. If you don’t know the name and title of the recipient, then you should do some research and find out the name and address of the recipient, and write it like this;
First & last name
City/District/State Zip Code
After writing the recipient name and contact information, you should give one line space, and then address the person with the appropriate salutation to start the letter. Some of the main salutations are as follows;
- Dear first and last name
- Dear Mr. / Ms/ Dr. Last name (if you don’t know the person)
- Dear first name (only if you know the person)
- To Whom It May Concern: Secretary of Finance (or any exact professional title of the recipient. Use it when you don’t know the exact name of the person)
The body section in the business letter is where you explain the reason for your writing. Conciseness is the key, and the length of the business letter shouldn’t be more than three or four paragraphs. However, you should discuss the main point in the first paragraph. Next, you should provide background information, justification, and other details to support your argument. Finally, you should restate the reason for writing the letter.
- Main point
- The argument to support your point
- Restate the purpose and request for specific action
After writing the body section, you should give one line space, and then write the appropriate salutation to close the business letter. Some of the main closing salutations are;
- Thank you,
- Yours sincerely,
- Yours respectfully,
After writing the closing salutation, you should give two lines spaces, and then your signature. You should write your first and last name in the following line like this;
First and last name
Template Example of Business Letter
City/District/State Zip Code
Full name of Recipient
Professional job title
Dear Last name of Recipient
Closing argument paragraph
First name and last name
Conclusion: How to write a business letter
After an in-depth study of how to write a business letter, we’ve concluded that writing a business letter is a routine task in professional business life. If you want to write a business letter, then follow the abovementioned template and practice writing it for perfection.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.